LOS ANGELES – Goodbye, California. See you soon, Oregon.
After spending one week in the Los Angeles area the New England Revolution will pack up on Friday morning and head north to Portland, where they’ll stay for 10 days and make final preparations ahead of the season opener against the Montreal Impact.
Although their time in LA was brief it was a critical week of progress for the Revs, who played their first two preseason matches – a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy and a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids – and continued to build towards 90-minutes fitness.
“I think we made some really big steps,” said Teal Bunbury, who played 30 minutes against the Galaxy and 60 minutes against the Rapids. “At this point in preseason it’s a lot about fitness, t’s a lot about chemistry … and it’s a lot about mixing and matching, and guys trying to stake claim to either a starting spot or making the roster, whatever it might be.
“I think it was some important steps, and I think we’re proud with how well we’ve been doing so far, but we know we still have a ways to go.”
There is still progress to be made, but the regular season is also fast approaching with the opener at Olympic Stadium a little more than two weeks away. That makes the Revolution’s stay in Portland, where they’ll play three games against Minnesota United, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Portland Timbers, a vital opportunity to take preseason preparations to the next level.
“I think we’ve made strides, but I think next week is where we start fine-tuning things and getting ready for the actual season,” said Seth Sinovic, who played 75 combined minutes in the two games in LA. “Fitness is the number one thing, but fine-tuning things all over the field – attacking third, defensive third, middle third. There’s so many things we can improve on, and we want to give ourselves the best opportunity going into the first game of the year to get a win.”